SUWON, Nov. 1 (Korea Bizwire) – Despite a number of initiatives to attract international tourists, the number of visitors to Gyeonggi Province has remained underwhelming, new government data has revealed.
Gyeonggi Province has been attempting to boost the local economy by developing new tourism programs and other promotional activities with the slogan ‘Gwangang Gyeonggi’ (Tourism Gyeonggi), but efforts have yet to pay off, according to data from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Korea Culture and Tourism Institute.
The data shows among 281 tourist spots in the region, only 18 places were visited by over 10,000 international tourists during the first half of this year.
Including the 18 most popular attractions, only 53 attracted over 500 foreign nationals, accounting for 18.9 percent of the total.
When broken down by attraction, the most popular was the city of Yongin’s Everland, the largest theme park in the country, having been visited by 359,700 foreign nationals between January and June, followed by the Korean Folk Village, which welcomed 158,400 foreign visitors during the same period.
Other tourist attractions including Imjingak in Paju, the Korea International Exhibition & Convention Center (KINTEX) in Goyang, and Seoulland in Gwacheon also proved to be popular.
However, a significant majority of the tourist attractions in the region fell short of the local government’s expectations, including the UNESCO World Heritage sites Hwaseong Fortress and Namhansanseong, which were visited by only 29,600 and 900 foreigners, respectively, over the same period.
While the lack of inbound Chinese tourists due to political tensions has had an impact on the region’s tourism industry, figures for the first half of this year show the overall number of foreign tourists in Gyeonggi Province dropped 4.7 percent, standing at just over 1.01 million.
Against this backdrop, some argue more needs to be done to develop tourist attractions to appeal to international tourists.
“It’s true that there are a limited number of tourist attractions within the province. However, we’ll continue our efforts and international promotional activities, while running three shuttle bus lines to and from Seoul,” an official from the Gyeonggi Tourism Organization said.
Earlier this year, the Gyeonggi government announced plans to build 45 new tourist attractions by 2026 in the province, including a new traditional Korean village in Suwon, an aquarium in Ansan, and a military theme park in Gapyeong.
Ashley Song (email@example.com)